5 Indian Pharma Companies Riding the Vaccination Wave

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  • Sep 3, 2021 - 5 Indian Pharma Companies Riding the Vaccination Wave

5 Indian Pharma Companies Riding the Vaccination Wave

Sep 3, 2021

Ever since the lockdown back in March 2020, the pharma sector has shown a remarkable recovery. It was one of the top-performing sectors of 2020.

The sector has continued to do well in 2021 on the back of increasing demand for life-saving drugs and immunity-boosting supplements.

Now with the virus making a comeback, pharmaceutical companies dealing in vaccines are back in focus.

Here are 5 companies riding the vaccination wave.

#1 Dr Reddy's Laboratories

Dr Reddy's Laboratories is an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company that manufactures medications, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), diagnostic kits, and biotechnology products.

The company has entered into a partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to market the first 250 m doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.

Sputnik V has been developed by Russia's Gamaleya Institute with assistance from Russia's sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

It is a double-dose vaccine to be taken at an interval of 21 days after the first dose and has an efficacy of 91.6%.

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The company is expected to commence the local production of the vaccine in September 2021.

For the June 2021 quarter, Dr Reddy's Lab posted a marginal decline in net profit at Rs 5.7 bn.

While the company saw a healthy sales growth, its operating profit slumped 13% year on year (YoY) as pandemic cost related benefits in the year ago quarter largely dissipated.

Going forward, the company's management is confident about improving its operating performance on the back of new product launches, scale up of recent launches, and an increase in productivity.

For more details about the company, you can have a look at Dr Reddy's Lab factsheet and quarterly results on our website.

#2 Wockhardt

Wockhardt is an Indian pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. It produces formulations, biopharmaceuticals, nutrition products, vaccines and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

The company has signed a deal with Dubai's Enso Healthcare and Human Vaccine LLC to make and supply doses of Russia's Sputnik V/Sputnik Light vaccine.

While Enso Healthcare is based in Dubai, Human Vaccine LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Russia.

Wockhardt said it would manufacture and supply up to 620 m doses of the Sputnik V and the Sputnik Light vaccines to Enso.

The agreement is valid up to June 2023.

Wockhardt reported a Rs 65.8 m loss for the June 2021 quarter. The company had posted a profit of Rs 7.5 bn in the year ago period on the back of an exceptional gain of Rs 13.3 bn.

The company filed 4 patents during the quarter taking the cumulative filings to 3,191. It was granted 3 patents and now holds 766 patents.

The company has also increased its pledged shareholding to 34.4% from 18.7% in the March 2021 quarter.

For more details about the company, you can have a look at Wockhardt's factsheet and quarterly results on our website.

#3 Panacea Biotec

Panacea Biotec is a generic and specialty pharmaceutical company headquartered in New Delhi, India.

The company has entered into a pact with Human Vaccine LLC, Russian pharma firm Generium and Dr Reddy's to produce up to 25 m doses of Sputnik V.

As per the terms of this agreement, Panacea Biotec will produce the Sputnik V vaccine using the ready-to-fill drug substance manufactured by Generium in Russia, and then supply the entire quantity to Dr Reddy's for distribution in India.

The batches produced at Panacea Biotec's facilities at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh will be then shipped to the Gamaleya Center in Russia for quality control.

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The company has already received a manufacturing licence from Drugs Controller General India for the vaccine.

For the June 2021 quarter, Panacea Biotec's net loss widened to Rs 574 m from a net loss of Rs 341 m in the same period last year while the company's revenue remained flat.

For more details about the company, you can have a look at Panacea Biotec's factsheet and quarterly results on our website.

#4 Cipla

Cipla is an Indian pharmaceutical company that primarily develops medicines to treat respiratory, cardiovascular, diabetes, and other medical conditions.

The company has been granted permission by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to import Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine will be brought in as a ready-to-use injectable vaccine. It can be stored for a period of seven months at a prescribed temperature, and for 30 days at a normal temperature after the vial is opened.

However, the company's Chief Financial Officer has said that there is "nothing definitive" at present. Moderna and the Indian government are working on sorting out indemnity issues around the supply of the vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine has an efficacy of approximately 94.1%, 14 days after the first dose.

Cipla reported a 24% YoY rise in net profit for the June 2021 quarter. The company's revenue also increased by 27% YoY as it benefitted from a surge in demand for Covid-19 medicines due to the second wave of the pandemic.

For more details about the company, you can have a look at Cipla's factsheet and quarterly results on our website.

#5 Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila)

Cadila Healthcare (also known as Zydus Cadila) is an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company primarily engaged in the manufacture of generic drugs.

The company has developed ZyCoV-D, the first Covid-19 vaccine built on a DNA platform to have received an emergency use authorisation (EUA) by a regulator.

The regulatory nod makes ZyCoV-D the second home-grown vaccine to get emergency authorisation in India after Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.

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Cadila Healthcare aims to make 100 m to 120 m doses of ZyCoV-D annually and has already begun stockpiling the vaccine.

Unlike most Covid-19 vaccines, which need two doses or even a single dose, ZyCoV-D is administered in three doses. The intradermal vaccine will be applied using a needle-free system.

The vaccine had an efficacy rate of 66.6% in a late-stage trial of over 28,000 volunteers nationwide.

Cadila Healthcare reported a 29.3% YoY rise in net profit for the June 2021 quarter. The company's revenues also rose 14.5% YoY on account of robust sales in the Indian market.

For more details about the company, you can have a look at Cadila Healthcare's factsheet and quarterly results on our website.

What should you keep in mind before investing in Covid-19 vaccine stocks?

Before investing in a vaccine stock, find out about the status of the company's vaccine. Some may have a vaccine on the market, while others may or may not win regulatory approvals.

In addition, learn about any issues that vaccine makers have experienced. Even companies that have obtained the necessary regulatory authorisations can encounter problems that ultimately prevent them from achieving commercial success.

You should also consider a company's other products and pipeline drug candidates. Stocks of pharmaceutical companies with other successful products will be less risky than companies that don't have other products on the market.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. It is not a stock recommendation and should not be treated as such. Learn more about our recommendation services here...

Ayesha Shetty

Ayesha Shetty is a financial writer with the StockSelect team at Equitymaster. An engineer by qualification, she uses her analytical skills to decode the latest developments in financial markets. This reflects in her well-researched and insightful articles. When she is not busy separating financial fact from fiction, she can be found reading about new trends in technology and international politics.

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